Cream Cheese Pastry

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

This pastry is both foolproof and provides delicious results. It is the perfect dough to store in the freezer to make such desserts as Flag-Raising Mixed-Berry Potpies  on short notice.

Or, use this pastry recipe for making strudels, tarts, or pies, rolling it out on a lightly floured work surface about l/8 inch thick. To make sublime savory strudels, tarts, or pies with this pastry, omit the sugar and lemon zest.

1 pound, 9 ounces (710 grams) dough



Total Timeunder 4 hours

Make Ahead RecipeYes

Dietary Considerationegg-free, high-calcium, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegetarian

Equipmentfood processor

Five Ingredients or LessYes

Taste and Texturebuttery, cheesy, tangy


  • 2¼ cups (10¼ ounces/290 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks/225 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 6 ounces (170 grams) cold cream cheese, cut into small cubes


  1. In a food processor, combine the flour, sugar, lemon zest, and salt and pulse 3 or 4 times to blend. Scatter the butter pieces over the flour mixture. Pulse until the mixture is the consistency of cornmeal. Scatter the cream cheese cubes over the mixture and pulse just until the ingredients come together in a ball.

  2. On a clean work surface, divide the dough in half and shape each half into a 5-inch disk about ¾ inch thick (12½ ounces/355 grams), or divide as directed in individual recipes. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 4 hours, before using.

  3. The dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. For longer storage, overwrap with aluminum foil, label with the contents and date, and freeze for up to 2 weeks.

  4. Thaw in the refrigerator for 4 hours or up to overnight and then use well chilled as directed in individual recipes.


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